Fried Bologna & Other Southern Sandwiches

Southern Plate is more than just me typing and chatting away. In fact, YOU are the most important part of With that in mind, I hope you’ll take time to leave a comment and share your favorite sandwich from your childhood. See bottom of this post for more details! Gratefully, Christy 🙂 bologna 003

When my mama was a girl they had a tradition of going out riding through the countryside on Sunday afternoons. They’d stop off at a little store to have thick slices of bologna cut off and made into bologna and cheese sandwiches. Pair that with a bottled drink and they were living high on the hog! “There just wasn’t anything like getting to ride in that car and look out the window while you ate a bologna sandwich!”.

This treat was passed down to my generation when we often sat down for lunch with a big loaf of bread and a stack of cheese slices in the middle of the table while Mama fried up bologna in a skillet. We’d each make our own sandwich and I’d make mine just like my brother did: Fried bologna, cheese, and potato chips settled in between two pieces of “loaf bread”.

Bologna sandwiches, sometimes referred to as “the poor man’s steak”, are such a part of our culture, they’re even used to gauge a person’s character. On the day we got married, my husband’s best man, Jim, had driven in a ways and was planning on staying overnight before heading back. He stayed with my Grandmother, who lived across the road from what was to be our new home. It had been quite a day with the wedding and reception and that evening Grandmama and Jim went out on her porch to relax and look out over the river.

For supper, Grandmama made the two of them bologna sandwiches.

To Grandmama, Jim and my husband represented a new generation, with a huge divide between folks her age and them. Grandmama had grown up dirt poor and picking cotton all of her life and here was this young man newly graduated from college with an engineering degree whose experience with her world had been nothing more than glancing at the cotton as the car went by. Its sometimes a little intimidating for folks who come from such humble backgrounds in situations like this, but when Jim accepted that bologna sandwich, it spoke volumes to Grandmama about the type of person he was at heart. Even now whenever he is mentioned she always chimes, in,

“That Jim is just a real good boy, he sat out there on the porch and ate a bologna sandwich with me”.

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To make the sandwich from my childhood you’ll need: Bread, cheese, mayo…

bologna 007and potato chips 🙂

My brother taught me the wonders of a potato chip sandwich over thirty years ago.

I think it almost made up for him cutting the entire side of my hair off a few years later.

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Now we have to fry out bologna. I always cut a slit halfway through to keep it from curling up into a bowl as it fries.

I prefer Zeigler bologna because it is made in Alabama. I try to buy as close to home as I can because last thing we want is to end up relying on a company halfway across the country for our food supplies. I think it’s best to support local suppliers to ensure that you have local suppliers. Zeigler’s has been around for over seventy five years. Their main plant is in Tuscaloosa and our own highly respected Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant was once an owner of the company as well.

Reminder to all: I am not into football but Alabamians take their football very seriously.

So whatever team you are for, GO THEM!

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You don’t need to spray your pan or anything, just put your bologna in it and cook it on medium, turning after it browns on one side. Some folks like there is just barely heated but I actually like a wee bit of black on mine 🙂

Note to myself: You use the word “actually” too much, stop it. Now. Seriously.


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Oh lawd, that’s some good eatin’!

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I always smoosh it a bit to crunch the chips down some 🙂

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Grandmama, I’m a real good girl because I still eat bologna sandwiches!

A few posts back we got into a comment discussion on strange sandwich combinations we grew up on. It was a fascinating comment section and we all really got a hoot out of reading it. I’d like to devote this comment section to those sandwiches. What did you grow up on? What brands do you insist on and why?

Mayonaise sandwich? Mustard sandwich? PB and banana? Tell us all about it! Also, why do you think Southerners eat such strange sandwich combinations-ketchup sandwich, anyone?

I think it is due to lack of food. When food was scarce, you could put something between two slices of bread, call it a sandwich and then it suddenly seemed like a meal. What do you think?

If there is anything else you wanna talk about in the comments section, feel free to do that, too.

See someone else’s comment you wanna reply to? Go right ahead!

I consider this to be my big old porch and we’re all just a standing around visiting with each other.

Y’all keep the conversation going and I’ll keep the tea glasses filled!

We’re all family here anyways. 🙂

“The happiest of people don’t necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.”

Submitted by Rebecca Hall. To submit your quote or read more, please click here.

I just love getting new positive quotes so thank you in advance!

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  1. I grew up eating fried bologna sandwiches. Love them, and I’m not from the south. Illinois, although it’s southern Illinois. Apparently, we were years ahead of our time. Have you seen that Hardee’s now offers a bologna and scrambled egg biscuit?

      1. Yes it does make you a Southerner…believe and my people are all from Southern Illinois and we are as southern as they come! Love the fried boglgna! We also had Miracle whip on bread or toast!

        1. OH SUSAN!! You had me believing you were Southern until you mentioned Miracle Whip!! Southerners use Duke’s Mayo (at least all the Southerners I know…and I know a lot of ’em). I guess you can still be Southern if that’s the only unSouthern thing you use!!

          1. That should be a crime…A Walmart that doesn’t carry Dukes???? To me that’s the best mayo on earth! And the Light Dukes is good too, bet you can’t tell!! I slipped some in the regular squeeze bottle and my husband had no clue for over a week he ate Light mayo and loved it. I need all the help I can get with cutting calories and stuff…I won’t waste money on foods that he likes and food that is the same just with “Light” on the wrapper for me. Compromise is always good…I just don’t let him know about it until the time is right! lol

        2. not necessaly so. Im from California and fried bolgna on fresh white bread from the Jim Dandy Market was yummy or fresh wonder bread all rolled into a ball of yummy dough was our favorite snack hugs Sally

      2. I was also raised in Southern Illinois, Mt. Vernon, and you just don’t dare call us yankees, those are people from Chicago or north of Springfield! You might get in trouble up there because most of the old families came from Kentucky and TN and those sure aren’t Yankees!

      3. i have a great pimento cheese recipe. i cannot even taste bought pimento cheese anymore-my kids don’t like bought either

  2. We just had plain bologna sandwiches. I will have to fry one up to share with my daughter. BUT my favorite sandwich growing up was my Grandmother’s Pimento Cheese and pickle sandwiches. They were the best.

      1. I love pimento cheese, I ate it as a child with crackers.Now I make sammies with it. I cant wait to try your recipe.

    1. My gracious, I was reading the comments and saw yours. Yes, my mema made us piimento cheese and dill pickle sandwiches. I loved green onion (from my pawpaws’s garden) and Helmans too.

  3. Fried bologna Is good no matter how you eat It! I love eating It on toasted bread, with mayo, cheese, and thick sliced maters with a dash of salt. Yummy!

    I’ve never tried It with chips……I do have a habit of eating those In with bacon sandwiches. They always give It a bit more crunch! You can’t seem to go wrong with whatever kind of chips you use either. Although Bugles seem to be my preferred choice.

    Every so often I’ll get a craving for a bologna & PB sandwich. Surely I’m not the only one! It sounds weird, I know, but as they say…don’t knock It till you try it! ;0

    By the way Christy, your fried bologna sorta looks like Pac-Man! lol First thing that came to mind when I saw It! hehe

    1. Shane,
      I just love getting to hear from you! The bad thing is…I actually remember when PacMan was first introduced!

      and now you’ve got me wanting bacon….

      Bologna and PB actually doesn’t sound that bad to me…I think I’ll give it a go.
      Have you ever put pb on a slice of hot toast? It melts just like butter. Oh my goodness, good!


      1. My hubby (from Toone TN, pop 300) eats bologna, mustard and peanut butter sammies ALL the time! He swears byt them but all I have to say is GROSS!! (although he likes to eat braunschweiger (sp?) too…liver cheese is what I call it…yuck! I would rather the bologna anyday. =) )

        I think we’re gonna be having fried bologna sammies this week for supper. yum!

      2. OmGosh I grew up on pb and jelly toast, and up until I got married I thought that was a normal breakfast food until my husband looked at me like I was crazy, but once he tried it he’s been eating it every since. There is nothing like melted pb on toast! It just oozes yumminess!!

        1. my grandson loves peanut butter, jelly on skillet toast. i toast his bread with butter on it in the skillet. it is so much better than toaster toast.

    2. And I thought I was the only one that ever ate balonie and peanut butter. It’s good to know that someone else has found the
      joy of a good sandwich. You might want to try a banana sandwich with salt and pepper. My mother always put salt and pepper on the bananas when she made these growing up so I thought everyone
      ate salt and pepper on their banana sandwiches until someone at work saw me making one. They thought I was a little weird
      after that. The salt and pepper does something to the bananas to bring out the taste and it’s oh so gooood!!!

  4. Ok, so we ate bologna sammiches (yes sammiches) and pressed ham, had to have them dressed and with bananna cream cookies…but I stopped eating them a long time ago…UNTIL I was introduced to Ziegler’s Bologna when I moved to Alabama…Lawd da mercy…hmmmmm…guess I know what’s for lunch now…lol…but I can’t find the bananna cream cookies anywhere

    1. Ooh DJ, I know the cookies you are talking about! They are hard to find because well..most folks don’t see the “specialness” in them! They are basically, cheap cookies in most people’s eyes but you and I (and the blessed old folks!) know how wonderful they are!
      I always have the best luck when I go to little hometown locally owned markets and grocery stores. Go where folks shop for the good old stuff and I’ll bet you’ll find them!

      The older the grocery store, the better!!!!

      I hope you find them soon!
      Christy 🙂

      1. Speaking of older store: one is L&S Supermarket in Ardmore, AL. The Smith Bros. started the store in the late 40’s or early 50’s, according to my recollection. They cater to the older folk, and thrill us ‘younguns’, as they make us feel right at home.

        1. I love Mom and Pop stores…and may check it I live fairly close to there..Do you still have the flea market near the interstate?

    2. There is no other bologna but Zeiglers. But we call it baloney.
      Love the fact that you called them sammiches, DJ. My dad, now deceased, used to tell my children that he was making them sammiches. Brought back some beautiful memories.

      One of my favs is peanut butter and banana sammiches. But you have to mash the banana in a bowl and then add the peanut butter. Only then is it ready to spread on the bread. That’s the way my mama taught me to make them.

      1. I grew up on bananna and mayo sandwiches and could fix them myself before I could anything else! My husband told me about bananna, mayo, and pb sandwiches…I told him he was gross and that couldn’t possibly be worth eating!!!!…Years later I saw an Elvis documantary and they were his favorite sandwiches just FRIED! Needless to say I went to the grocery store and tried them. I absolutely LOVE them and you gotta put mayo on one side, pb on the other side, and then bananna in the middle!! YUM, YUM, YUM!!!

      2. i always made the sandwiches by spreading one slice with peanut butter, slicing bananas all over the top, sprinkle sugar over it all put the other slice of bread on it and boy, is it ever gooood!

  5. I loved Fried bologna and scrambled egg sandwiches! Another great sandwich is pineapple and mayo. My granddaddy loved them!

      1. oh, stephanie, and christy….me too! one of my fav breakfast’s was when mama pulled out the cast iron skillet, fried up slices of bologna, just until they curled and fried eggs, put the fried eggs into the curled up meat……she called it “egg in a hat”. good times. and, on a hot GA summer’s day, a cool creamy pineapple and KRAFT mayo sandwich was the best.

      2. Fried bologna and egg is good.. BUT Fired bologna and a thick slice of onion along with MIRACLE WHIP!! Now you’re talking great!!!

        1. Awwww, you were doing great until you got to the Miracle Whip part, lol…

          My Dad grew up in a little down in West Tennessee, and they used to call this a “Speckwich” because the guy who made it had the last name of Speck…

          White bread (soft, not toasted)
          Kraft Real Mayonnaise
          3 pieces of Bacon (optional)
          Fried Egg w/ Slice of American cheese
          Slice of Fried Balogna
          White bread (soft, not toasted)

          Aw man — I have a feeling we’re going to be eating this soon…..Mmmmmmm

          1. Wait — I knew I was forgetting —

            Slice of Raw Onion…Vidalia, preferably….

  6. Light bread, Hellmans Mayo, fresh tomatoes and fried Bologna!!!! Nothing better….takes me right back to my grandma’s kitchen in Tuscaloosa Alabama!!!!! Yum Yum!!

      1. Dear Christy

        When I was a little girl my gran used to make dripping toast or dripping sammiches – yes, even here, with the fat from bacon/ sausages or whatever. Originally from the Sunday roast but you could and still can buy it from an old-fashioned butchers.

        My friend however ( and this was only a short time after sugar rationing had ended) used to eat sugar sammiches as her Mum thought it was “posh”. Times have changed so fast.

        1. I LOVE sugar sandwiches…white bread, white sugar, and Fleishman’s margarine… yes, it was my Mom’s comfort food when I was hungry, sad, or whatever and she couldn’t get anything cooked in a hurry. Also love Miracle Whip sandwiches, just MW and white bread, preferably Wonder Bread, funny how that all takes you back. In summer we added ‘maters to that sandwich and if there was some in the house, thick cut bologna.

          1. It’s exciting to see someone who grew up with the same things. I introduced my 8 year old to sugar sandwiches and he was blown away. My hubby thought I was nuts! LOL! I also remember cheese and mustard sandwiches . . . they were my favorite too! Little did we know that we couldn’t afford meats for our sandwiches . . . but we never knew we were poor.

          2. I can’t believe someone else grew up eating fried balogna, mayonnaise, cheese & potato chips on “store bought” bread like we did in southeastern Oklahoma! My mama bakes delicious homemade bread, but we always had it and thought it was a real treat to get Wonder bread from the store. I also grew up eating mayonnaise & mustard sandwiches. My grandmother used to eat onion sandwiches. She would take an onion fresh from the garden, slice it and eat in on bread. Oh, those wonderful memories…..

        2. after rationing ended butter and sugar sandwiches were a real treat, my favorite is still fried bologna and cucumber hugs sally

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